Satellite Internet

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by GrandpaDave, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    I live out in the middle of nowhere and started looking into satellite Internet as an option to a cell card... I ended up with a system from Wild Blue but that hasn't worked out was advertised

    I wont go into many details but Hughes, Wild Blue and Dish network are all the same system... in other words, crappy... downloads are S..L...O...W...

    Skywave is the only company who doesn't use the Hughes satellites but they don't have two way... meaning while you can download from the satellite you have to have a phone-line to upload...

    so far I've been very disappointed with all these services... Wild blue did put a new satellite up late last year... supposedly to make the system faster... so far, no...

    Oh it works when you got nothing else... but it's almost like a throw back to the old dial-up days rather than a leap into the 21st century
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member


    You got any high speed like a GOOD DSL or cable within 10-20 miles ?

    And what's the terrain like where you live ?
  3. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    Nope the only land-line service we have is through ATT they do not offer Internet where I am but if I bring two lines in I can have a third party provide a kind of DSL...

    lately I've been thinking maybe I should see if I could let one of those cell companies put a tower up on my prop in exchange for free Internet... you see if they did that they would have to bring in a 200 pair or fiber-optic line and that would give me something to tie into
  4. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Reason I asked is here is how we solved our problem.

    Went to a buddy's house some miles away ( can be up to 30 ), and got a cable connection put in.....pretty fast.....30meg. Ran that into a cable modem, into a radio transmitter ( on an 8' wood pole up in the very back of his yard ), beam that to a receiver antennae on top my mountain ( direct line of sight with buddy's house on his side ), then down to my house where I pick it up with a small roof antennae, and run into my computer.

    MAYBE you have that option ?
    ColtCarbine and Guit_fishN like this.
  5. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    No cable out this way....

    I have looked into extending the range of my wifi
    6 miles away is the town of Erie KS and the town has free Wifi service but 6 miles is a long way...

    maybe one of the super tech heads can come up with an answer for me???
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member


    That's the point of my don't NEED cable near you ......just within 20-30 miles.

    If they have free Wifi ( and assuming the speed is high enough ), all you need is someplace to set up a little Wifi receiver and the radio gear to get it TO you.
    ColtCarbine likes this.
  7. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    what I need is a receiver here at the house with the range to pick up that wifi 6 miles away... see I dont really have anyplace there to set up a transmitter... I had thought about getting my hands on one of those old mesh wire dishes... mounting a wifi card in that and aiming it towards town... our high wind speeds tell me it wouldn't last long on a mast though
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Well, have you ASKED ?

    You don't know anybody in town ?

    Tried a ham operator there ?

    Drive around.....see anybody with any kind of small tower you could rent a little space on ?

    This ain't gonna fall in your got to extend a little effort....
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Dave, six (6) Miles is NOT a problem for WiFi, when you are using High Gain Antennas on each end of the Link, AND they have a clear LOS shot at each other. Think of it as a One Watt 2.4 Ghz Microwave Shot. Not hard to do at all. The old AT&T Terrestrial Link that used to bring in out Phones here was a 2.4 Ghz, 1 Watt Link, with 4 ft Grid Antennas, on each end of the 16 Mile, over water link. I use some really small Panel Antennas (Patch) for a 3 mile WiFi Link from here to a neighbors House, down the beach, that gives him 5 Mbs, off my network. No problems in 4 years. we use the Buffalo Tech WHR-HP-G54 High Power WiFi Routers on each end, and from watching the RSLs I know we could stretch that link out to 6 miles, easy. I run a pair of Starband SAT Based IP Systems here, and usually get in the 1.0-1.5 Mbs Down, and 300-512 Kbs UP. It does cost more than anything around ($100US/Month/Link) with 5 GB of Download, and 1 GB of Upload, per week, on a 7 Day, Rotating Basis. We use 2 Meter dia. Dishes for the SAT Link, because of the small Footprint here in Alaska, but in your country, an 18 in. dish would be fine. Lots of possibilities for better than Dialup Service, with the application of a little technology..... ..... YMMV.....
    ColtCarbine likes this.
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

  11. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    I could ask around maybe set something up... but I would rather not be beholden to anyone... I do not have line of site and the only tower I can see from my place belongs to a AM radio station... I guess I'll just have to make due, unless I win the powerball and become a gazillionaire
  12. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I understand not wanting to be beholding; neighbors is one thing, folks a few air miles away are another.

    I know three brothers who built a WiFi antenna; it worked for two of their locations and they access the town's free WiFi. They chose the Cantenna design which is directional and inexpensive to build.

    How-To: Build a WiFi biquad dish antenna -- Engadget

    How to extend your Wireless Network by building a 2.4 gHz wifi cantenna

    There are plenty of directional designs to choose from and there are Hams here at SM who will help.
    BTPost likes this.
  13. dataman19

    dataman19 Monkey+

    Actually - there are Radio Modems that have a 50-Mile line of site (18-32 Miles through the woods) range.
    To make it even sweeter - they even carry a phone line with the 10/100 Ethernet ports. Great deal when you consider you get up to two phone lines, and a 10/100 Ethernet link all in one.
    The Line control unit has the Signal and term circuitry (connects, gets dial tone, disconnects, etc) and the Interface to connect to a DSL/Cable Modem with a short 10/100 Ethernet cable.
    All you need is to make arrangements with a business owner in the town nearby. Install one of the modems on his roof and have the phone line installed and DSL/Cable Internet.
    Then put up a mast on your roof (or a pole in the yard) and install the modem on the pole, run the cables to the house and bingo - Phone and internet.
    I believe I posted links to this set up in a previous posting. But if you are seriously interested pm me and I will forward the links to you.
    The whole thing costs from $199 to $299.00. This includes two RF Modems, and two Inside Controllers and two wall wart power supplies.
    I have put several up for clients who are more than happy with them. Usually a business owner will rent you the roof space for about $25.00 month (one client leases his for a prepayment of $150.00 a year).
    Better yet - become a wireless ISP and put them up all over the county. Then you just rent a space (closet, etc) in town. Install a mast and put the RF Units on the mast. Them Sell/Lease RF/Modem Units to people for wireless networking within a 25-40 mile radius.
    The sweet spot is that with just a hi speed internet connection, you can buy a Magic Jack Plus for $79.95 and have free telephone for a whole year, and be able to get phone service for only $29.95 for each additional year (Magic Jack is going up since we signed a deal with Wall Mart - I was against it, but got out voted in the deal).
    So your problem is not really a big problem, just a challenge...
    Phoenix, AZ
  14. TomTurk

    TomTurk Monkey

    Frankly, After doing tech support at one time for a Satelite provider, I can tell you that if you can piggy back onto the mentioned ideas in this thread, the costs will out weight the benefits.

    The fact that most of the providers only have a few of the satellites up there to help with this and they have to cover so much area its insane. Last I knew when earthlink was still running it, they had 3 for the entire world. In the off chance that the tech does get better your still looking at further issues when you have the standard run of the mill of things that mess with the connections for even Sat. TV.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have been a Starband User since the late 90's, and have been very satisfied with their Systems and Service, as long as they were using a Totally Hardware based Modem/Routers. When they had the Hybrid Modems that REQUIRED a MicroSquash OS, PC Computer, to do the Protocol Conversions, I was NOT a big Fan, but their Hardware based Modem/Routers starting with the 180, 481, Nova, and now Edge, have been just fine. I run two Links. One on a 1.2 Meter dish, and one on a 3 meter dish. Expensive, for sure, but way better than NOTHING, when that is your only IP Connection available. I have run HughesNet, Starband, GCI, and some Private SAT based IP Links over the years, and find the GCI, and Starband to be the best. WildBlue (Ku Band) just doesn't cut it here, due to Rain-fade, when you live in a Rain Forest. ....... YMMV.....
  16. Theocrat

    Theocrat Monkey

    I picked up what I thought was a public wifi signal about 8 miles away using an old hughesnet dish and a Belkin USB wireless adapter placed in the focal point. It wasn't the greatest signal strength, two bars, but it was much faster than the hughsnet connection. Unfortunately after about a month, all the sudden it was locked and I couldn't log on anymore. The reason why I thought it was a public wifi spot was because it was named PublicAN, Anderson county being the county I live in. I know there are ways to crack into it but I don't want to break any laws against stealing someone elses signal.

    For me, high winds wasn't an issue since I just mounted it inside on a tri-pod and aiming it out the window. I am not sure if walls would be an issue
    because when I aimed through a wall, it didn't seem to reduce the signal strength.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Depends on the wall, and the insulation used. If it was Foil Backed, that would cause issues, but normal wood construction causes much less attenuation. 2.4Ghz is an easy band to get High Gain Antennas on. Antennas can make up a lot, where Output Power is limited. Wet Trees are a Big Problem at 2.4 Ghz, as well. clear LOS is always a better path to take. ..... YMMV....
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